Schools in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley reopen amid pandemic

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 17, 2021
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KATHMANDU, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Some schools in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley reopened on Friday after being shut down for more than four and a half months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A limited number of schools in Kathmandu district have reopened on Friday as per information that I received in the morning," Govinda Prasad Rijal, chief district officer of Kathmandu, told Xinhua. "I don't have the exact number of schools reopened in Kathmandu district."

On Thursday the district administration office issued a public notice allowing reopening of schools in the district based on decisions of local governments, consultations with parents and by ensuring vaccination of teachers and other employees.

Rijal said all the schools might not reopen before the Dashain festival which begins from Oct. 7. "A number of schools are in favor of reopening after the upcoming festival season ends," he said.

Most schools in the capital city of Kathmandu were not reopened on Friday as the city government has not made a decision.

"We have not yet decided to reopen schools in the city," spokesperson Ishworman Dangol told Xinhua. "We have arranged a stakeholders meeting for Sept. 20 and based on the scheduled meeting, we will decide whether to reopen schools."

In fact, schools in Nepal had not been running smoothly ever since COVID-19 hit the country in early 2020. Even though schools started to reopen in late 2020, they were closed again after the second wave of the virus struck in April.

Early this month, the Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts in the Kathmandu Valley lifted the lockdown imposed since April 29, as new infections had remained relatively low.

According to owners of private schools, the schools are expected to reopen gradually in the valley, but the majority of schools outside the valley have already reopened.

Tikaram Puri, president of Private & Boarding Schools' Organization Nepal, told Xinhua that most schools in the valley except those in the capital city reopened on Friday.

"Schools ensuring access to good online education may continue to remain closed until the upcoming major festivals, but other schools failing to ensure all students an online education have reopened," he said.

Nepal reported 1,086 new infections and 10 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total cases to 783,075 and the death toll to 11,012. Enditem

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